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Customers to show ID at select LCBO stores as part of controlled entrance pilot

To combat theft, in spring 2024, LCBO is launching a controlled entrance pilot at six LCBO stores located in northern Ontario. A Canadian flag flies near an under construction LCBO store in Bowmanville, Ont. on Saturday July 20, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

In a move to combat theft and provide a safer shopping experience, the LCBO will soon require some customers to present photo identification to security before entering at six Ontario stores as part of a new pilot program.

On Tuesday, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), announced it is launching a controlled entrances pilot program at six Ontario stores this spring.

The controlled entrance pilot will take place at six LCBO stores in northern Ontario, including one in Kenora, one in Sioux Lookout and four in Thunder Bay.

“These stores were chosen because their contained geography from other LCBO stores allows us to measure the effectiveness of controlled entrances on theft,” said the LCBO, which added that pilot outcomes will be monitored over the next 12 months.

The LCBO said that theft is a serious issue that poses a safety risk for employees and customers working and shopping in its stores, adding that it is also a burden on police services.

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“Providing an exceptional customer and employee experiences is a top priority, so our goal is to make this new process quick and easy,” said John Summers, chief retail officer.

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“While it may add a few extra minutes to our customers’ visit, we trust that this is a small inconvenience for a safer and more enjoyable shopping experience,” said Summers.

According to the LCBO, controlled entrances will require customers who appear to be 17 years or older to present photo identification (ID) to security personnel at the store entrance before being welcomed into the store.

Photo IDs will be scanned to ensure that it is legitimate/valid, and to confirm that the customer is of legal drinking age (if unaccompanied by an adult) and has not been involved in any prior in-store incidents.

However, if an individual does not meet these requirements, they will be unable to enter the store, the LCBO said.

“We will communicate with customers closer to the implementation, but we may not share scheduled rollout dates as it could exacerbate the situation and compromise our safety and security efforts,” the LCBO said.

While the LCBO says it has multiple measures in place to deter theft, piloting-controlled entrances will allow the liquor retailer to “explore another way to create a safer experience in our stores for both employees and customers. ”

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On Wednesday, the province ordered the LCBO to cancel the pilot.

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